A Camino Spiritual Pilgrimage
A Path to Self-Discovery and Joy

  • Sep 15 – Oct 5, 2020

with Sitabai and Nandadevi

The Camino de Santiago and Galicia Pilgrimage Itinerary

Our itinerary: Thoughtful planning + Daily inspiration = A sublime pilgrimage experience


Sitabai Betts our pilgrimage leader has personally walked the Camino de Santiago Frances Route once, then again to personally plan the Ananda Spiritual Travels Camino pilgrimage itinerary, and then again in Fall of 2019 to lead our first group. Every detail has been thoughtfully prepared for your enjoyment and upliftment. Each day, each accommodation, every meal, meditative group gatherings, and all the lovely side trips, come together like a beautiful Spanish tapestry. This pilgrimage intertwines the threads of ancient and natural beauty, holiness and joy, deep culture & fun, inner peace and outward happiness.

Camino 4-up-montage

 

Day 1 – Gathering of Group
Guests can check-in after 3:00 at the lovely Hotel Palicio San Martin in Madrid, Spain. Our group will gather in the main lobby and walk to the local Mercado de San Miquel for a wonderful dining experience. We will explore the famous tapas shops at the Mercado selecting from the fresh savory and sweet delights. The Mercado is located in a charming pedestrian-only section of old Madrid.

Day 2 – Avila

St-Teresa-of-Avila.jpg-Patron Saint of Spain

Leaving Madrid we will take a short 1.5-hour bus ride to exquisite and holy Ávila. We visit powerful sites where Saint Teresa was born, lived nearly her entire life, and prayed – including the monastery where she saw the child Jesus, where she would levitate, and where she would make her confessions to St John of the Cross. We will also have the opportunity to walk the Ávila rampart walls or visit the Ávila Cathedral in the afternoon.

Day 3 – Start the Camino

Pilgrims start the Way Spain

We travel by bus to our start location on the walking Pilgrimage on this day, through Ponferrada, Spain, which is also located on the classic Camino Frances Route. In Ponferrada will visit the best-preserved Knight’s Templar castle in all of Spain and have lunch in Ponferrada. After this enjoyable stop we will travel a little farther by bus to the area of Sarria, Spain, the beginning of our walking section of the Camino.

Day 4 to 8 – On the 'Way'

Pilgrims start the Way Spain

We will walk the first 5 walking days of the Camino Frances Route on our Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (5 to 9 walking miles each day). Daily walking schedule consists of walking a few miles, stopping for snacks or lunch along the way, then walking a few more miles to our destination for the day. We stay at very charming old-world rural casas and pazos (country “manors”) in tiny villages and hamlets along the Way. We will stay again at a charming casa that is a little tight on rooms, so some of our women guests will enjoy a slumber party up in the eves!


Day 9 – Rest and Restore


Hotel-Balneario.jpg, Camino Pilgrimage with Ananda Travels

Spend three nights and one full day at the lovely rural resort spa, Hotel Balneario. Here we rest one full day and we will not walk the Camino. Enjoy the optional (extra fees) spa services including massages, facials, and use of the healing mineral waters pool and sauna.

Hotel Balneario Pool, Camino Pilgrimage with Ananda Travels

Day 10 to 14 – Back on the Camino Frances Route

We walk the remaining 6 days journey of the Camino Frances Route to Santiago de Compostela (approximately 8, 7, 8, 7, 7, 7 walking miles each day, respectively). Daily walking schedule consists of walking a few miles, stopping for snacks or lunch along the way, then walking a few more miles to the destination for the day. We stay at charming old-world rural casas in small towns along the Way, as well as at three delightful old Pazos (which means “Palace” in Spanish, often several hundred years old). Delightful Pazo Xan Xordo has an original chapel from 1650 with the original wall paintings and Blessed Mary on the altar.


Pazo-Xan-Xordo Chapel, Camino Pilgrimage with Ananda Travels

Day 15 & 16 – Santiago de Compostela

Santiago-de-Compostella.jpg

We arrive in the old city of Santiago de Compostela, finding ourselves arriving at our Pilgrim destination in the plaza in front of the Santiago Cathedral – having completed our 108 km Pilgrim Walk. What a moving experience to arrive at this holy place like so many pilgrims before us! We have the delight of enjoying one of the most spiritually significant cities of Europe, now called the Christian Mecca because of the Camino pilgrimage walk.

We will visit the Cathedral, which has very recently been renovated inside and out. We also will visit the tomb of St. James in the Cathedral and have the opportunity to hug the bust of the saint that emanates Divine peace due to the devotion of the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who have hugged the saint at the end of their pilgrimage.

Catherdral of St-James, Santiago

On the second day we enjoy a guided tour of the Santiago Cathedral and enjoy other attractions in the old delightful, formerly walled, cobbled-street city. Optionally, our tour leaders will apply to the Church Office for the Holy Compostela, written in Latin and personalized in your name, for each pilgrim in our group who successfully walked more than 100 km of the Camino Way Pilgrimage. Many more surprises await us in Santiago, including walking the old narrow cobbled streets, experiencing many opportunities for sweets and pastries and various shopping, and dinner together in the old city.

Day 17 – Onwards to Galicia

Camino Stamps

Continue our pilgrimage to Galician Spain by bus, leaving Santiago and visiting Dombate Dolmen, a 3500 BC Celtic site, on our way to the small fishing village of Muxía. We visit the very powerful Celtic power center in Muxía, and climb the little mountain with the stone cross with views to the sea and the bay, overlooking the town. This is 0.0 km for one section of the Camino ending at “The End of the World.” Some bring a stone from home (or elsewhere along your way,) and carry it for your journey. Here, you can throw the stone, giving it to the sea as a symbol of the completion of the journey. Offer up all the limitations you have grown through on this journey.

Day 18 – End of the World

End of the World at Finistre-Spain

Continue by bus on a short ride in the morning to Langosteira Beach, a mile-long beach that ancient pilgrims reached by their walking pilgrimage after many weeks and months from all over Europe – arriving here as they approached the “End of the World.” There are two such “End of the World” destinations, Muxía and Finisterre.

Finisterre is the classically considered End, being the farther western point. We walk along Langosteira Beach, collecting shells that signify the completion of the journey while reflecting, as pilgrims over the millennium have done, on attaining our own purity at the water's edge. Walking through the small fishing village of Finisterre, we continue the final walk to the Lighthouse at the farthest western point. This is considered the primary end of the Camino. Here pilgrims offer prayer and meditation, joy and gratitude, on the completion of the pilgrim’s journey. Total walking distance on this day is 4.3 miles. Those who prefer can remain on the bus to the lighthouse instead of walking. Or walk the Langosteira Beach to Finisterre and take the bus to the Lighthouse.

Day 19 – Castro de Baroña

Castro-de-Baroña, Camino Pilgrimage with Ananda Travels

Travel by bus to the beautiful Cascada de Ézaro waterfall where we enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature together. This is another wonderful place to solidify our Camino experiences in a way that we can keep them in our hearts when we return home. After the Falls, we continue by bus to the amazingly beautiful Castro de Baroña, an ancient Celtic seaside rock settlement about 2000 years old. The Castro is a delight at which we share this time together with our Pilgrim family at the inspiring seaside. We return by bus to Finisterre for one more night there at our beautiful hotel.

 

Day 20 – Back to Santiago

Paradores Hotel, Camino Pilgrimage with Ananda Travels

We will enjoy a late morning start from our Finisterre Hotel, which will allow us opportunities to relax or visit the nearby beach. Our bus ride back to Santiago is a little over an hour and we will stay at the lovely Paradores Hotel in Santiago, one of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels in the famous Spanish Paradores hotels, situated right on the main Cathedral Square. This hotel is also known as Hostal dos Reis Católicos and is a blend of history, art and tradition, built originally as a royal hospital in 1499 to accommodate pilgrims traveling to Santiago. It is considered the oldest hotel in the world.

Day 21 – Counting our Blessings

We enjoy our last wonderful breakfast together at the Paradores Hotel and with warm hugs we bid you a happy trip home with the Camino in your heart, knowing that your spiritual pilgrim travels have added depth and dimension to the joys of finding your inner Self.

 

Highlights of this trip include:

  • 11 days of walking in the time-honored tradition of pilgrimage: Spend time in silence and introspection. Meet other pilgrims. Enjoy walking with friends.
  • Have an optional appointment to meet with one of our tour leaders.
  • Learn walking meditation techniques, such as using affirmations or a silent mantra, if you wish.
  • Visit ancient churches, some of which are 1000 years old. Take time each day for prayer, reflection and meditation.
  • Visit ancient and tiny villages and hamlets that developed around the pilgrim route to support walking pilgrims.
  • Marvel at the scenes and energy of the splendid rural beauty and stone villages of Galicia. See remains from the Roman era, including a functional bridge.
  • Receive colorful and memorable pilgrim sellos (inked stamps) along the way in your Pilgrim Credential (the document that witnesses, with these sellos, that you completed each stage of the journey to earn your Compostela).
  • Receive the Holy Compostela certificate - By walking at least the last 100 kilometers, and utilizing the Pilgrim Passport to receive stamps along the way, pilgrims may receive the Holy Compostela certificate, written in Latin. The Compostela acknowledges completion of a pilgrim’s journey – a pilgrimage to offer one’s devotion to the holy Saint James, when one makes this journey with spiritual intent and an attitude of inner searching.


    The Camino Pilgrimage with The Expanding Light Retreat

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